I've given them this advice before, but I figure it's time to repeat it. To all of you American progressives and Dems: Stop being so compassionate and trying to fix George Bush's mistakes. You're only enabling him and making yourselves look like weenies in the process.
Case in point: When an injured American soldier was told he'd have to reimburse the military $700 for his discarded body armor, John Aravosis of AmericaBlog leapt into action, doing some quick fundraising to more than cover the cost and getting lots of attention for the issue along the way. Happy ending? Not really.
It may have been a happy ending for that one soldier but, chances are, Aravosis' compassion didn't do much to help the thousands of other troops currently getting screwed by the Bush administration.
What's worse is this followup which links to a CNN article containing the paragraph (emphasis added):
Meanwhile, the Web site Americablog ran the story and claimed to have raised nearly $6,000 for the soldier. The father said the family members had not received any money from Americablog, but that if they get it, they will donate it to a soldier's support group.
Terrific. So after all that work, CNN still slags AmericaBlog by insinuating quietly that they might be all talk, no action.
My advice to John: Stop it. Just stop it. I know you mean well, but your fundraising scheme only allowed the current administration to keep screwing over soldiers and leaving folks like you to try to undo the damage.
The current position of Dems/Libs seems to be one of, "The Bush administration is making a mess of things and fucking over the troops but don't worry -- we're here to try to fix the worst of it."
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
The message should be: "The Bush administration is making a mess of things and fucking over the troops and, gosh, we're really sorry but, as long as they run the White House and both houses of Congress, that's what you're going to get. And, gee whiz, we'd love to help but we're not in charge. If we were, things would be different. Remember that in November, you poor bastards."
Yes, it's a nasty message but I don't think any other strategy is going to work. By trying to fix things like this, the Libs and Dems are simply camouflaging the real extent of the Bush administration's incompetence and callousness. And for what? To get snarky, needling coverage on CNN for their efforts.
So give it a rest, John. Yes, cover the atrocities. But, no, don't try to fix them. Let the troops feel the full effect of Bush policy and maybe -- just maybe -- the lesson will start to sink in.
Sometimes, it really is time for a little tough love.
MORE OF THE SAME: From Daily Kos:
First, Bush's plan would eventually cause some 600,000 retirees to be dropped from the military's healthcare program. Bush's budget also makes across-the-board premium increases to TRICARE retirees under the age of 65. Veterans will see an increase of 41% for single or family coverage within two years; senior enlisted and officer retirees will see increases of up to 204%. By 2009, healthcare premiums for our veterans will TRIPLE. (See PDF of TRICARE fee increases here).
Can our veterans afford it? Bush's budget also gives the military the smallest pay increase since 1994--a paltry 2.2%.
My advice to Dems: Sign it. Just sign it. Go on TV and hold press conferences about how appalling and uncompassionate this is, but also make it clear that, as long as the GOP is in charge, you're just going to keep accepting stuff like this.
In short, make the voters choose this November. Tough love, baby. Tough love.